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Vwaza Marsh

The Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve lies along the border of Malawi and Zambia, west of Rumphi and south of the Nyika National Park. This extremely attractive, accessible park is a well kept secret, with a huge abundance of wildlife that is perfect for anyone with an interest in natural history.

The Vwaza Marsh consists of wetlands, as well as mixed brachystegia and mopane woodland, and has a rich variety of animals that results from the freedom of movement between the ecosystems in the North Luangwa National Park and the South Luangwa National Park. The animals in the park include 2,000 buffalo, 300 elephants, and a huge variety of antelope. The predators include lion, leopard and wild dog which are in the process of re-colonising the park from the Luangwa.

Animal life aside, the setting is exquisitely African, with flat water surrounded by low hills and woodland, the sound of hippo splashing and fighting in the background, and the classic sight of crocodile sunning themselves on the river banks, jaws gaping wide and being largely ignored by the mammals that come down to the shore to drink.

A guided walking safari onto the floodplain is well worth the effort, with the animals reasonably happy to be approached on foot (although it is forbidden to walk without an armed ranger). This is an ideal way to see to birds up close, too, with some outstanding bird watching including species such as the trumpeter hornbill, Carp’s black tit, Hueglin’s robin and several warblers.

The only accommodation is at the Kazuni Safari Camp which is under the management of Malawi’s Parks Department and is a self-catering facility.